So imagine you have a mid teen age kid and he’s into Soccer and he’s very good. He’s so good that he’s better than older kids and leading teams to victory and to championships. And soon you see that he’s acting prideful and mocking the other kids because they aren’t as good as him.

If you’re a good dad, this should be a cause for concern. What would you say to him to help take away the pride in his abilities and stop him from lording his skill over the other players?

Here’s what the father of the best Soccer player in the world told him.
“Come here. Don’t do this with the kids, because God gave you the gift to play football. You didn’t do anything. This was a present from God. You have to respect people, because it is important to be a good man, a good person. From now on, you must be this example.”

This is what Pelé (in an interview last summer) said his dad told him when he was young.

And when the interviewer challenged this, saying he must have done a lot of hard work, and it wasn’t only God who gave him the gift, Pelé continued.

“Of course the work is very, very important. That is exactly what my father meant: God gave you the gift to play football, but this is a present. You must respect people and work hard to be in shape. And I used to train very hard. When the others players went to the beach after training, I was there kicking the ball. Another thing I say is, if I am a good player, if I have a gift from God but I don’t have the physical condition to run on the field what am I going to do?”

See parents? Your words can have a positive godly effect on your kids. Even on those kids who are most likely to have a big head. And even a half century after you speak the exhorting words.

Go and do likewise.

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By the way, this is the first time I’ve used the word “Props” in a blog post (not to mention the title). I was going for alliteration. How did it go?

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